PHOENIX - Power outages were felt across the Valley after thunderstorms, gusty winds and blowing dust hit Maricopa County Friday night.
According to SRP's power outage page, there are power outages in various neighborhoods in the Valley, from Glendale to Apache Junction, Queen Creek and San Tan Valley. Parts of Chandler Heights are also affected.
As of 12:00 p.m. Saturday, power was restored to a majority of the thousands of people affected by the outages. The San Tan Valley and Queen Creek areas were the hardest hit, as hundreds of residents did not get electricity restored until after 9 a.m. this morning.
APS officials also power outages in the Phoenix area, as well as in Casa Grande.
On Friday night, officials with the National Weather Service in Phoenix issued a number of severe weather warnings for parts of the East Valley, including a Severe Thunderstorm Warning and a Dust Storm Warning. Those warnings have expired.
FOX 10 viewer Taylor Wright sent us a photo that shows a wall of dust in the Gilbert area. (Courtesy: Taylor Wright)
A Dust Advisory was also issued for parts of the West Valley, and a Dust Storm Warning was issued for Casa Grande, Gila Bend, and Maricopa. Those warnings have also expired.
The National Weather Service says there is a chance for more thunderstorms with strong winds to form in the Phoenix metro area and across Arizona on Saturday night.
State Route 238 was closed between State Route 85 near Gila Bend and milepost 40 near the city of Maricopa due to flooding, but has since reopened.
Rain/flood safety tips
The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:
- Turnaround don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
- If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.
- If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.
- Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.
- If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.
- If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.
Preparing for a severe thunderstorm
The American Red Cross' tips for preparing for a severe thunderstorm:
- Put together an emergency kit.
- Know your community’s evacuation plan.
- Create a household disaster plan and practice it.
- Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Discuss thunderstorm safety with members of your household. Be aware that a thunderstorm could produce flooding.
- Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a thunderstorm. This should be a place where there are no windows, skylights, or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail and cause damage or injury.
Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoon
"Most Valley residents know how quickly and furiously storms can move in and out, bringing strong winds, dust, rain, and flash flooding. These storms can cause interruptions in services, such as water, power, and gas," stated Captain Ashley Losch of the Glendale Fire Department.
GFD reminds residents of ways they can be prepared and stay safe:
- Have flashlights with extra batteries on hand.
- Have food that can be prepared without the need for cooking or refrigeration.
- Have at least one gallon of clean water for each person in the household.
- Have backup power for anyone requiring power for a medical device.
- Have backup power for cell phones that do not require charging.
- Have a first aid kit ready and accessible.
- Never drive into areas with flowing water; it takes less than 10 inches to wash a car away.
- Avoid flooded areas, such as washes.
- If waters are rising, seek higher ground.
- Do not approach downed power lines, the ground can be energized for up to 200 feet.
- Keep pets indoors during storms.